AUSTIN, Texas – Gerald “Jerry” Cochran, a Ph.D. student in The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, has received a $42,000 Health Services Research Dissertation Award (R36) for his study, “Latent Classes and Transitions for Brief Alcohol Interventions in Trauma Settings,” from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Alcohol misuse is the primary risk factor for injury in the United States, and health care providers are positioned to deliver alcohol interventions to individuals admitted to health care facilities for injury treatment. Cochran’s dissertation uses latent variable statistical modeling of data from a clinical trial conducted in a Level-1 trauma center to identify profiles of patients who experienced the greatest benefit from Screening and Brief Interventions (SBI) for alcohol. A better understanding about which injured patients respond best to SBI will increase the ability of policymakers, health care administrators, and clinicians to make potentially necessary changes to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of medical centers delivering SBI services to injured patients.

Co-chairing Cochran’s dissertation committee are School of Social Work faculty Dr. Kirk von Sternberg, associate professor and associate director of the Health Behavior Research and Training Institute, Center for Social Work Research and Dr. Diana DiNitto, the Cullen Trust Centennial Professor in Alcohol Studies and Education and University Distinguished Teaching Professor.